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Dupree water passes state coliform test, council discusses city election

The City of Dupree council meeting came to order at 7:05 p.m. Monday, April 4, with Jesse Olvera’s report explaining the certification training he attended at the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR) Environmental Ground Water Quality Conference on March 24, 2016. 

Olvera routinely tests the quality of the city’s water, and through the training, Olvera learned the new regulations for the process and the focus of the testing. 

The primary concern is to look for coliform, bacteria that are generally harmless to humans because they are not pathogenic, or disease-causing. However, officials test for it because large quantities of it can indicate other pathogens which can be harmful to humans such as giardia, which can cause symptoms such as diarrhea.  

Olvera tested the water in Dupree and sent the water samples to the Division of Administration Public Health Laboratory in Pierre , SD. 

Results indicate that the public water routine test came back “total coliform absent; bacteriologically safe at the time of the sampling.” 

The new testing requires the typical five  routine sample sites along with  an upstream and a downstream test site, Olvera said. 

To establish the testing sites, Olvera had to create a map of all the water sites, the valve locations, dead-ends, size of the pipes, etc., and designate the routine testing sites. 

In the worst case scenario, the water could be contaminated if there were any sewer seepage into the water, but in Dupree water runs in the streets and sewage in the alleys, so the crossing of the two lines is unlikely. 

If our water pressure goes low, that’s when bacteria can get in, but Olvera said that in the summer months, the city closely monitors the water tank to ensure there are no issues. 

Olvera said that hopefully the water tower will help the city avoid having to worry about the lower supplies with the new tank and hopefully better water lines coming in from Eagle Butte. 

The new water testing policy also includes a three step trigger system they are using to address any water contamination issues, which reports of water tasting bad or being a little rusty being one trigger that would require testing outside of the routine testing schedule. 

Olvera said that in many cases, these kinds of reports could be a result of an issue specific to the house or property owners’ plumbing and not an issue with the city’s water supply lines and tank. 

“We are pretty safe with our [current] water tower, but we do need a new water system. I have heard complaints here and there, but that was from people close to the tower, and we replaced that issue in the tank,” Olvera said.

Council members for Ward III,  Arlene Martin, Leo Bakeberg III, and Sam Owen; and Ward I, Sandra Lemke and Unalee Howe, were present at the meeting, along with Financial Officer Maruice Lemke and Mayor Ray Lenk. 

In regular business, the approval of regular meeting minutes from March 7 and a special meeting on March 21 were approved, along with the bills, and the financial report. 

The council passed a motion to support a request from the Dupree After Prom committee, carrying a motion to donate $100 to the event. 

In maintenance, Mayor Lenk said Olvera and his one-man crew have been working on the streets, blading and putting gravel on them, and the council members agreed that they look good. 

Lenk shared with the council the approval of the water tower through Indian Health Service (IHS) funding, for the 150,000 gallon water tower. 

Lenk said that in conversations with IHS, the project is more likely to be in the planning stages in 2016, and actually begin construction in 2017.

In other business, the council carried a motion to approve the renewal of the Package Malt Liquor license for Farmer’s Union. 

Lenk reminded the council of the upcoming election on Tuesday, April 14 from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. at Harry’s Hall. 

A special meeting will be held Monday night, April 18, 7:00 p.m. to canvas the voting at the city county office.

With mosquito season coming up, Lemke will be attending training to for mosquito control, with a focus on ways to prevent the problem in South American from reaching Northern America. 

Finally, the EPS waster eater discharge permit paperwork has been put in by the city, and the city is awaiting a reply to its renewal request, said Mayor Lenk. 

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